Modern roads wend through county's past

Communities: In the midst of the bustle of modern Howard County are places that hark back to the area's beginnings.

March 21, 2004|By Carole W. McShane | Carole W. McShane,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

In 1851, when Howard became Maryland's 21st county, a person could travel from the eastern part of the county to the western edge by horseback, wagon or carriage on the Frederick Turnpike, now Route 144.

The historic road was carved out of the landscape by the Ellicotts to reach the markets of Frederick, Hagerstown and Cumberland. It was the beginning of the National Road, which carried travelers through Cumberland to the West.

Today, the county's infrastructure makes it easy for residents to navigate the area and visit the smaller communities that give a sense of the county's history and its heart.


Located 20 miles west of Ellicott City on historic Route 144, this is a community of gently rolling countryside with wide pastures and picturesque farms surrounding the tranquil little town.

Founded in 1802 by Caleb Pancoast, Lisbon was a farming village and a way station for travelers on the Frederick Turnpike. Pancoast laid out 100 lots of equal size and built Lisbon's first house, so the town might be called Howard County's first planned community.

Lisbon was one of the most popular stopovers along the Frederick Turnpike. The bustling town met the needs of weary travelers with a hotel, blacksmith, church and general store.

By the 1830s, with the extension of the B&O Railroad, Lisbon became something of a resort town where people from the city would come to escape the summer heat.

With the advent of the railroad and, in the 1950s, the moving of the major highway from Lisbon to the north, traffic through the town slowed. Today, Lisbon is much like the quiet village it once was.

Although Lisbon is on Preservation Howard County's list of top 10 endangered historical sites, it remains an active and friendly town. A few blocks square, Lisbon is surrounded by Woodbine and is an attractive area for commuters using close-by Interstate 70.

Schools for the community are Lisbon Elementary, Glenwood Middle and Glenelg High.


Clarksville is a crossroads community at Route 108, Route 32 and Ten Oaks Road, with the hustle and gleam of an up-and-coming community. With a population of over 15,000 people, Clarksville is the site of River Hill, Columbia's 10th and final village, and is one of Howard County's fastest-growing areas.

Explored by Thomas Browne, known as the Patuxent Ranger, in 1699, Clarksville got its name from descendants of the Clark family who emigrated from Northern Ireland.

When the first post office opened in 1828, the farming community had a store and a blacksmith shop. In 1855, the St. Louis Roman Catholic Church was founded.

Today, Clarksville is an area of beautiful homes and a busy business center. The average sale price of a home in the 21029 Clarksville ZIP code for the preceding 12 months was $633,389.

Schools for the community include Clarksville, Pointers Run and Fulton elementaries; Folly Quarter, Clarksville and Lime Kiln middle schools; and River Hill High.


The four corners of Highland meet where Route 216 and Highland Road cross Route 108. Once known as Walls Cross Roads, Highland has retained its country personality.

At the intersection is Boarman's Market, which has been in Highland for 45 years; the Highland Veterinary Hospital; and Butterfields.

The new post office on Highland Road belies the old-fashioned, friendly atmosphere a visitor will find inside.

Among the horse farms and country setting are developments such as Paternal Gift, where homes have price tags of $1 million to $2 million. There are six pending sales of homes in the Highland ZIP code, with an average sale price of $698,000.

Schools for the area include Clarksville, Triadelphia and Fulton elementaries; Folly Quarter and Lime Kiln middle schools; and River Hill High.


Located on Route 216, between Route 29 and 108, Fulton has about 1,700 people.

First surveyed about 1700 by Thomas Browne, the land was largely owned by the Snowden-Hammond family until 1855, when German settlers arrived and settled in the area.

The population grew, and the first post office was established in 1874 under the name Waters Store. In 1882, the town was renamed Fulton, for Charles C. Fulton, an editor at The Baltimore Sun and later the publisher of the Baltimore American.

In 1905, Fulton was described as having a church, cemetery, store, blacksmith shop and several homes.

Fulton has remained a small community surrounded by farms. But across Route 216 from Fulton Station, which serves the town center, is the 500-plus-acre Maple Lawn Farm. The turkey and dairy farm, owned since 1839 by the Iager family, is going to be developed into a mixed-use community with several types of homes and businesses.

In the past six months, 11 detached homes have sold in Fulton, eight of which were ranchers about 30 years old. The average price was $513,845. Property size in Fulton is 1 acre to 2 acres on average.

Children in Fulton attend Fulton Elementary, Lime Kiln Middle and the newly opened Reservoir High School.

North Laurel

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